There will be ‘uncomfortable’ questions – British envoy

Terming the resolution adopted at the UNHRC as an exciting and brave step for Sri Lanka to have taken, the UK says that while the process of asking and answering the questions is difficult and can be painful, it is important in instilling confidence and trust between communities which is necessary for countries to move forward.

The passing of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, which the UK co-sponsored along with the government of Sri Lanka, was an historic and important moment for Sri Lanka, the British High Commissioner in Colombo, James Dauris, said. “Getting to his point has been a long process.” 

uk“Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship was an important element of inspiring international confidence it what the resolution stands for,’ he told Ada Derana in an interview.

“We think the government’s willingness to co-sponsor the resolution s an important and very welcome confirmation of its intent to take forward point made in the resolution and recommendations that came out of the report commissioned by the United Nations.”

The High Commissioner also welcomed the statement issued by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in which they said while the resolution is not ambitious as some would have wanted nonetheless this is important opportunity for Sri Lanka and that they are committed to working with the government to ensure that the resolution and the commitments made are taken forward in a way that serves everyone’s best interests.

On allegations from some quarters that the resolution was detrimental to the sovereignty of the country, Mr Dauris said he does not believe that the resolution is a challenge to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.

“This is very much about Sri Lanka committing to taking forward steps that are in Sri Lanka’s best interest,” he emphasized.

The High Commissioner stated that during his career as a diplomat he worked in other countries which have been through the pain of internal conflict and that he saw how difficult it is for other people around the world to achieve reconciliation to move forward towards reconciliation without being honest about the difficult and often painful questions that need answers.

“While the process of asking and answering the questions is a difficult and can be a painful one it is so important in instilling that confidence and that trust between communities that is really necessary for countries to move forward.”

“And I am confident that the recommendations made and the implementation of the recommendations made will help Sri Lanka to achieve that unity and prosperity that everyone here wants,” he said.

Mr Dauris said he thinks the resolution is an important and exciting step for Sri Lanka to have taken.

“It’s also a brave step and as I said there will be questions which will be uncomfortable asking and answering but I think people can feel assured that moving through that process really will help bring the trust and the confidence and the reconciliation that the communities here want and will benefit from.”

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